Early success in acquiring readingskills usually leads to latersuccesses in reading as the learnergrows, while failing to learn to readbefore the third or fourth year ofschooling may be indicative of life-long problems in learning new skills.
According to UNESCO, one-fifth of the world’s adult population can not make informed decisions because of their lack of literacy skills. According to former Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, “We are graduating people who learn less and less.”
Reading is acquiring meaning fromwritten texts.Reading is a paradox because itlooks so simple, yet, it is so difficult tolearn.
“Reading and literacy skills are some of themost important skills a child with learningdisabilities and other reading difficulties canmaster during the early years of schooling,because reading skills are the basis forsubsequent mastery of almost every subjectarea.” -William N. Bender and Elizabeth J.Larkin
• Reading is not natural (Moats, 1999).• Reading is a cultural invention (Pinker, 2004).• Failure in one’s ability to read results in unpleasant experiences for children with reading difficulties and it hinders academic achievement (Stanovich,1994).• Exposure to print is a good predictor of general knowledge skills (Stanovich and Cunningham, 1998)
• Instruction should be based on explicit and systematic phonics (National Reading Panel, 2000)• Young readers need phonological instruction in early literacy instruction• Teaching of reading should be based on evidence-based practices.
• Reading is complex to learn and complicated to teach.• A positive attitude in teaching reading is simply not enough.• In teaching reading, you have to know all the steps and, most importantly, recognize the missteps (Carnine and colleagues, 2010).
• Systematic entails that lessons are carefully sequenced and planned• Explicit means that a teacher is telling the children what he or she is trying to teach.• At present, publishers use the term systematic and explicit phonics the wrong way.
• Systematic instruction has 2 important terms: scope and sequence.• Scope includes the content of the phonics instruction.• Sequence defines an order of teaching letter-sound correspondences.• Lessons are carefully planned and sequenced.• Systematic is across a period of time.
• Typical letter sequence taught in schools: a, b, c, d, e, f, g…..• Carefully sequenced introduction of letter sounds: a, m, t, s, i, f…..• Letter sounds with great utility are taught first and similar letters are sequenced far apart to avoid confusion
• Teaching kids directly what they need to learn.• Instruction is scaffolded to ensure mastery and success.• Teacher follows a My Turn-Together- Your Turn model in teaching.• There is provision for error correction
• My Turn: I will sound out this word: /s/-/a/-/t/ “sat”.• Together: Sound out this word with me: /s/-/a/-/t/ “sat”• You Turn: Sound out this word: /s/-/a/- /t/ “sat”
• Phonemic Awareness Skills• Phonics and Word Identification• Explicit instruction on reading fluency to enable kids to read fast and accurately• Explicit strategies on vocabulary and word analysis.• Explicit and guided instruction on reading comprehension
• The DIBELS measures assess the 5 Big Ideas in early literacy identified by the National Reading Panel:• Phonemic Awareness• Alphabetic Principle• Accuracy and Fluency• Vocabulary• Comprehension
• Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, blend, segment and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words.• Phonemic awareness instruction helps all children improve their reading, including normally developing readers, children at risk for reading difficulties, disabled readers, preschool readers and elementary readers (National Reading Panel, 2000)• Focus only on blending and segmenting.
• Systematic and explicit phonics instruction is most effective for children with learning disabilities when combined with synthetic phonics (National Reading Panel, 2000)• Systematic synthetic phonics improve spelling abilities of children
• Children learn meanings of words indirectly by engaging in conversations, listening to adults and reading on their own.• Direct instruction is useful alongside natural word learning.
• Guided, repeated oral-reading procedures that improve reading fluency have a positive impact on word recognition and comprehension• Fluency can be improved by having students read and reread at a certain number of times or until a certain level of accuracy and speed are reached (National Reading Panel, 2000)
• Fluency instruction leads to gains in comprehension. (RRSG, 2002)• Text comprehension can be improved by instruction that helps readers use specific comprehension strategies (National Reading Panel, 2000)